Saturday, 14 March 2009

Easy as π !

Maths Geeks everywhere celebrate today because it is World Pi Day. Technically we should pull the party poppers at 1 minute to 2. That's the third month, 14th day, at 1.59 - or 3.14159

That is the number π to five decimal places.

I have noted the day by working in the kitchen. First I made a big batch of pastry - some to cook now, some to freeze.


Then I made a whole load of different sorts of pies - here they are ready for baking...


This is a meat pie, prepared with part of the savoury mince I cooked up earlier this week.

The remainder of the mince went into a shepherd's pie for Sunday Lunch.





IM003282 I made a blackberry and apple pie for dessert today. I used Delia's idea of an "American One-Crust" where you roll out a large circle, dump the fruit in the middle, and flip up the sides. All very rustic.


A fruit meringue pie - which I made and sprinkled with brown IM003281sugar. And finally, some left over pastry scraps made a few custard tarts. I love nutmeg!





Everything baked up beautifully, and now is cooling and will shortly be wrapped and frozen, or put in the fridge.











Bob, Homer Simpson is The PieMan, of course, and there were lots of appropriate appreciative noises for my efforts!



In 1966, I memorised π to 30 digits by learning the following mnemonic poem [first composed in 1905] which was written on a poster on the wall of the Maths Room at school.

Sir, I send a rhyme excelling,
In sacred truth and rigid spelling,
Numerical spirits elucidate,
For me the lexicon's dull weight,
If nature gain, not you complain
Tho' Dr Johnson fulminate.

I have no idea what purpose I thought this exercise would serve, and I have never ever needed, in the 43 years since, to use π to calculate anything to that degree of accuracy. But the number continues to fascinate me - and I like pies too!

Another famous shorter mnemonic [but not quite so appropriate] is

"How I need a drink - alcoholic of course - after all those lectures involving radical equations"

I just made this one up "Pie – I want a slice smothered in creamy sauce and eaten terribly carefully!" [3.141592653589]

But I am beginning to go off at a tangent, and I do realise that when it comes to decimal numbers, not everyone sees the point!


  1. Everything looks very yummy!!!

  2. Mmm, what a lovely selection of pies. Shepherds pie is one of my favouriates, I'm more of a savoury person than a sweet person. All of it looks delicious though... Happy Pi(e) day! :)

  3. Beautiful pies! and beautiful Pi. Mathematicians everywhere must be very happy, as am I!



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